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    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

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    • Quote of the Day May 29, 2017
      Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services, have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home.That assessment in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children. Those terrorists will forever be reviled and implacably […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • "Imagine, Heal, Resist" – Mayday 2017 (Part 2) May 27, 2017
      This evening I share a second batch of photos from this year's Mayday parade. As I mentioned in Part 1, on Sunday, May 7, I attended the 43nd annual In the Heart of the Beast Theatre's Mayday parade in south Minneapolis. This year's theme, "Imagine, Heal, Resist," was all about coming together to "imagine a just and joyous futur […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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    • Trump Meets Francis, Twitter Talks: One Photo Seen Through Many Eyes May 24, 2017
      Ok everyone, this is the photo we're going to be using for memes today. Godspeed. pic.twitter.com/jGUWt5aYMh— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) May 24, 2017One photo, many different ways of reading it — as Twitter commentary this morning is suggesting; different eyes see different things:Vacation Picture No. 937: Wednesday with the family at the Vatic […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • Commentary on Manchester Terrorism: "Women [and Girls] Are the Canaries in the Coal Mine for Male Violence" May 24, 2017
      Thought-provoking commentary I have read on the Manchester terrorist bombing as in all likelihood an attack quite specifically targeting girls:Michael Daly: Eight-year-old Saffie Rose was not collateral damage. She was a target. She had been deliberately murdered with icy premeditation along with 21 others at the specific place and time that the bomber chose […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
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    • Christmas at Litmanova December 29, 2016
      The Marian Shrine of Litmanova, Slovakia.Christmas 2017A forest chapel at the Slovakian Marian shrine of Litmanova.Stunning painting of the Sacred Heart inside the forest chapel.
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Not Our President November 16, 2016
      To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken.Those in st […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
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    • Rep. Adam Schiff on Kushner May 28, 2017
      California Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee investigating Trump/Russia, comments on Jared Kushner and his plan to create a secret back channel with Russia ...
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

What’s happening in my Lutheran world

For my first post to this collaborative effort, I will borrow a previous post from my own blog, because it serves to define what has been happening in my world.  I am an ELCA Lutheran, and I was present at the historic assembly this August when gay clergy and blessing of gay relationships was ratified by the voting members.  I’m a gay ally, and I was at the assembly as a Goodsoil volunteer, which is a Lutheran LGBT advocacy group that has been around for awhile.  This post appeared immediately after the momentous vote.

Since then, a dissident group called Lutheran CORE has been saber rattling and causing many congregations to withhold funds from the mission of the national church.  A trickle of congregations is following the constitutional process of withdrawing from the ELCA.  More about post-assembly machinations to follow.

“They called the question!”

When the facilitator in the darkened computer room made this announcement, many abandoned their computer screens and scrambled back to the floor of the assembly.  Others, tweeters mostly, remained at the ready to release the news – what news? – into cyberspace.

Up in the Goodsoil Central room, LGBT folks, some volunteers but others gathered from around the twin cities to share in this moment, clustered around a big screen TV monitor, clutching the prayer scrawls wrapped warmly around their shoulders.  A horde of red vested volunteers left their desks or their floor monitoring stations and assembled around the big screen in the registration area.

Was this another false alarm?  The question had been called at 11:00 a.m. but the vote to stop debate failed.  The plenary session was adjourned for the midday worship service and those with differing views shared bread and wine together.  Then came the lunch break followed by other scheduled business.  In mid-debatersafternoon, the question was called a second time, but again the motion to end debate failed and emotional three minutes speeches continued rapid fire, first from the red mike, then the green, then red again.

The tone of some was harsh: “Are you willing to jeopardize your mortal soul?” asked one, but that was the exception; most expressed the angst of interior wrestling, along with Jacob at the ford of the Jabbok, to discern the will of God.  Some reached across the aisle to touch their brother as if to say, “I disagree, but I know your heart, and it is pure.”

The motion to end debate and call the question succeeded on the third try, and the hall hushed as Bishop Hanson said, “Let us pray.”  And then came the electronic vote, “push one for yes, two for no,” intoned the bishop.  Seen only by him, the tally appeared on the Bishop’s monitor; he hesitated for a moment, and then said, “when the results appear on the big screen, please do not respond with clapping or cheering but with prayer.”

559 yes, 451 no.

prayers No one was surprised, but the moment had arrived.  Gays who love their God but also love another would be allowed to serve as ordained, rostered leaders of their church.  Openly.  Recognized and supported.  The reaction among a thousand voting members and another thousand assembled guests and observers was muted.  By twos and threes and fours and fives, the children of God huddled together in tears and prayer, some in joyous thanksgiving and others in grief.

Thy will be done.

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